Saturday, January 31, 2009

I think I know why I'm here?

Alot of the time, I don't always know exactly what my thoughts are. They're very hard to keep track of and they hide from me alot and I don't try all that hard to keep them together (neither would you if you had them). Occasionally I will read something that makes me realize just what it is that I'm thinking. Kerouac is the best example of this. Everytime I read one of his books he manages to convey exactly what I'm thinking/what was happening in my life at that point in time, specifically : a desire to run away and leave everything/On the Road, heartbreak/Maggie Cassidy, A fascination with life, nature, and poetry/ Dharma Bums, disillusionment confusion fear isolation/ Big Sur. But enough asides

Today I was going to my physics profs office to find the answers to last weeks homework set and on the door next to his office there was a delightful little article written by a Dr. Janet D. Stemwedel. Rather than have me describe the article, you can READ IT YOURSELF.

You know what, she is absolutely right about everything and that's why I'm here at school. I'm in my second year and I have no idea what I want to do with my life. One of the worst things ever is when people ask me what I'm going to school for, what I want to be. I've never had an answer and I still don't. For the first year it was okay to say that "I'm going into sciences but I'm still not entirely sure". After a year though, I still had no idea and people were still asking that question... me included. What the hell am I doing here? What do I hope to accomplish? Not nothing... but nothing specific either. For a while I told people I'm thinking about being a prof. I don't really wanna be a prof but it sounds like an interesting career and it shuts people the hell up. That's just a scapegoat really though. I still have no clue what I actually want to do with my life.

Until today when I read that article and everything made sense. What am I going to school for? I like to learn. Yes, I can admit it and I'm not the least bit ashamed.


It doesn't even matter what I'm learning just so long as it's something new. If I don't understand it, that's even fucking better cause I'll go read it up until I do understand it. The girl I drove home with for Christmastime Break (A biology major? Biochem? Pharmacy? One of those three) talked for like an hour about these microorganisms whose name I can't remember but you can put them in space and they go into super hibernation and live! In space! How frickin' cool is that!

I love it here at school. The late nights scrambling to finish something, the early half-waking mornings, the hours of frantic procrastination in an attempt to keep your brain from being crushed by the insane amount of things that it should probably know by now. It's all so awesome! And best of all is that I'm good at it too. I can screw around and not do nearly as much work as I should be doing but still pull off good marks handle the stress better than most people. There are very few things that don't interest me. Sure, I'm a math major but that's just because math is really fucking hard to learn all by yourself. The reason I'm not getting a Bachelor of Arts is because books are generally pretty easy to read and understand (as long as they aren't written by James Joyce). I won't understand them on the same scale as someone who has had to publish papers on them but I'm okay with that. Okay, I lied, I'm not okay with that, secretly I want to know everything but obviously I can't.

My favorite class right now is British poetry- a class that I'm not actually registered in (and I don't go to it nearly enough as I would like) but also Archaeology is pretty amazing and Anthropology too! Differential Equations is pretty goddamned cool stuff too - even if it is a giant bastard to actually do. I can calculate someones blood alcohol level, how fucking cool is that! But what about Linear Algebra and how it connects to basically every type of math ever, or how Vector Calculus makes doing physics like 50 times easier. (Seriously, intro calculus should be taught in grade 9 math... it simplifies so many things)

This school thing is so much better than real life. I can order books in from the four corners of the world without any charge, I can peruse academic journals out of a curious interest in a subject, I get free internet! I enjoy my little academic "not-life" bubble so much that maybe I will become a prof so that I'll never have to join in on that big dark scary adult "real world"

I don't want a job, I don't want a future. There's plenty of time to worry about that stuff when it actually matters. Frick, I've only technically been an adult for 3 weeks and people have been asking about this shit for the last 5,6 years. That's too much pressure for a kid. Can I just find something that I really enjoy doing and stick with it for a while... like maybe the rest of my life?

Of course, when people ask me "What do you want to do?" I can't rightly tell them "Learn". They won't get it. People never get anything so beautifully simple. Their minds just can't handle the complexity of it. They'll ask more questions. Questions that I can't actually answer. Questions like "What sort of a career exactly is 'learning'?" "How much does that pay?" "Is there a high demand for that nowadays?" "What exactly is it that you learn?" and "What sort of a job can you get with a degree in math?"

Actually, I should probably find out the answer to that last one sometime soon.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dear Everyone Who Told Me That Benjamin Button Wasn't Funny

You were wrong. You were so horribly wrong. Please, for my sake, drag your humourless ass back into the movie theatre and seriously reconsider your statements. Not funny? The entire concept of the movie is ludicrous to start with and the fact that they try to play it off as a drama is comedic gold. The best part - get this - the movie got nominated for 13 frickin' Oscars. People are actually accepting that it's sad and dramatic.

Though, to be fair, I can see where you went so wrong. The movie is actually very well done (Although at parts it felt like I was watching Forrest Gump... which was really weird because I haven't seen Forrest Gump). The writers clearly meant it to be a drama, to tug at heartstrings, to be the sort of film that makes you ponder about what you have and then makes you curl up in bed with it clinging on and savoring every bit. And yeah, it does pull that off. I don't think it's funny because it was poorly made, it's a good movie. I think it's funny because it's hilarious, from a grander scale Benjamin Button is a savagely and relentlessly funny movie and I'm a little disappointed that no one I've talked to about it agrees with me.

Maybe it's just because I've read the book, which is unquestionably a comedy. "Here is a man, a man who'll lead a life just like how everyone else leads lives. Except he happens to be aging backwards... sucks for him doesn't it? Let's see what sort of shenanigans he gets into." That basically sums up the book. But the movie and novel are completely different (In the book ol' Benjamin hangs out with his grandkids while his son looks after him).

I think that probably, more than anything, you're sense of humour just isn't right to properly find the funny side of this movie. Actually, it's probably mine that isn't right. I devoured comedy when I was younger... comedy that young people probably shouldn't see (or maybe they should?). PS - If you're ever thinking of sending me a Python skit via the interweb and youtube, please don't. Ten to one odds I've had it memorized verbatim since I was 12.

Sometimes I worry that my sense of humour is spiraling downwards into obscurity and hopelessness. Some of the things I find funny now most people would be appalled by (and I don't mean dead baby or Helen Keller jokes or stupid shit like that). I think that the second half of Full Metal Jacket is funnier than the first. I giggled like a fool through parts of A Clockwork Orange. I'm even starting to understand the funny side of Burroughs. I guess, mostly, I like my humour to be horrific, disgusting... something that shouldn't be laughed at. That's why stuff like Catch-22 and Dr. Strangelove are so brilliant... because they're so dirty. I like to laugh at things that any normal person would stash away in the hood of their car, drive out to the nearest pier, tie a rock to and sink to the bottom of the ocean. I also think that Schindler's List would be a good musical (I've also never seen Schindlers List but everything is better when it's a musical).

Making light of something, in alot of cases, reduces the overwhelming brevity of it, takes away something sinister about it (Case point: Mel Brooks' The Producers). I find it so much funnier (and talented) when something can be laughed at but it doesn't lose that sinisterness, that dark overtone coupled with thoughts of "I'm a horrible person for laughing at this but it's so damn funny"

So get back into the theatre and try to see the funny side of Benjamin Button, like I do... and if your mind just simply won't let you laugh at it... that's okay, I'll just use the Ludivico Technique on you.

Also: I mentioned Stanely Kubrick 4 times in this post. HES FRICKIN GOOD OKAY YOU GUYS! I need to read/watch Lolita.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just a wee taste

This is the opening excerpt from the book that I'm working on. It will without doubt have been changed by the time I'm finished but oh well. Enjoy?

Life is but an ill-thought-out-adventure and we are all still children. In years to come you will look back and everything you have said or done will have the foolishness of youth attached to it. Even this very sentence shall, in time, be tainted by the wisdoms of age and new experiences. Maturity is just a clever tarp to hide behind; a fabricated guise to keep ourselves from realizing that nobody anywhere has any sort of idea what it is they are doing. Most surely, I will look back on this story in disgust and amazement at how I could ever be so childish, so stupid, so wrong about everything. This is why it is so important for these stories to be told because even though our idiocy is captured, beside it stands our innocence –our identity. Without these stories we would not have the ability to look back and mock ourselves. We would not have the humility to realize that even now, we are being mocked. Most importantly, without these stories, we would remain stale stagnant static – an arrested development keeping us from this foreign growth we call maturity and halting our intellectual right. So here I sit, young foolish O’Toole looking into life’s comedy and trying to make sense of its tenderness, fury, and merciless love all under the rushing sunsets that disappear between our fingers.

Tell me what you think

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Happy Birthday

Some people don't get math, some don't get books, some don't get folk music, some don't get Picasso, some don't get love. Me? I don't get birthdays. I wish that I could forget my own birthday and be done completely with the whole concept but unfortunatley there are people who have a nasty habit of reminding me it's my birthday by wishing me a happy one and also my number remembering skills are far too good for me ever to forget it. Goddamn. I just don't get birthdays

"Everyone should be nice and treat me nice and I should get special treatment because today is my birthday!"

But first let's look at what a birthday signifies. Your birthday celebrates the anniversary of the day that you crawled your way out of some strange lady's vagina. Good for you! That's a huge accomplishment! What's your encore act? Learning to piss in a toilet? And then on top of that, the system of measurement we use for a year is completely fallacious. Seriously, it's so innacurrate that every four years we have to add an entire extra day on to keep things from fucking up. Seriously? What the fuck? People actually buy that shit? You think the people who put shit on the moon wouldave been allowed to get away with that huge discrepency? No, no they wouldn't because if they did then SHIT WOULDNT WORK RIGHT!

Today was my birthday, well yesterday actually as it's past midnight now. More specifically, today was my 19th birthday. Yay? I guess? I only really went out because my friends were all "We should go someplace and celebrate". I woulda been fine just hanging out but hey, anyplace where friends are is a good place. I'd probably have no inclination to go out if it weren't for those friend people so I guess it was good. I picked this blues bar that had music and it was pretty rad, except for that it was a bar.

I can't stand bars... except for when there's music and even then it's a bit of a compromise. We got there and I had one drink cause "It's your birthday and you have to have a drink on your birthday especially cause it's your nineteenth". Everyone was fairly adament about that, even the one girl who is generally good about such things. So I had one drink. And everyone was all, "what the fuck, why aren't you drinking more" and I was toying with the idea of leaving when the music guy came on.

He was damn frickin' good

Course, we were all clapping and whatnot after the first song (Lenny - SRV) and he says something to us and one of the people I was with (forget who) yells out that it's my birthday (which kindave ruined a piece of advice a friend gave me previously: "Don't think of it as a massive birthday celebration-just think of it as a fun night out with friends"). Bloody great, now the whole bar knows it's my birthday and I have to put up with strangers congragulating me about something that I don't give two shits about. So yay for that.

Then, they started goading me on to have another drink, luckily I have school in the morning and had to drive back home eventually else they wouldave never let up on me because clearly, not wanting to drink on your nineteenth birthday is something seriously wrong and unacceptable in this world. So again, I wanted to leave. This happened several times throughout the night. Though, to be fair, "the girl who is generally good about such things" had picked up on my thoughts by then and she was not a part of the "enouragement". Were it not for her I probably wouldave buggered off, even with the bitchingly good tunes floating all around me. Everytime they got on about drinking I wanted to leave. Seriously, FUCK RIGHT OFF. I wasn't looking for a bar to go to and then picked that one because it had what looked like good music. I picked the music... and it just happened to be at a bar.

This is why bars shouldn't exist. Just because you go to one, everyone naturally assumes that you want to/should drink. Alcohol should be sold everywhere to everyone. Especially children. That'll teach 'em a lesson or two.

Overall though, it was a fairly good night wouldave been a great night if it weren't for the whole "birthday" and "drinking" thing that I was constantly being reminded of.

Maybe I just wanted to hang out with some friends and listen to some music... is there something wrong with that?

Monday, January 12, 2009

I think I'm in the wrong major?

So my Monday today opened up with one of the most frustrating classes I've ever had. First off, the Prof talked to us about an assignment due Friday that I'm still not entirely sure what we need to do for it, much less how we should go about doing these things. Then, she put a question on the board where we had to use partial fractions to find the integral of a function ( dP/dt = rP(k-p)), something that apparently no one in the class has been taught before because we were all equally confused.

Nonetheless, I was apparently doing somewhat the right thing when she walked past my desk and then for her advice to me she started going on about how k and P and A and B were different animals or some such shit like that so they couldn't be grouped together. Frickin' duh! That was my problem, I couldn't group the like terms together cause the frickin' A and the frickin' B were different so I couldn't get rid of that goddamn motherfucking P FUCK FRICKIN' FUCK FUCKIN' FRICK FUCK.

Anyways, eventually figured that out and then she goes on and starts doing this proof to some sort of theorem that we actually don't know so naturally the entire proof is entirely foriegn and useless to me. GODDAMN. Then, we do a question using that theorem and it turns out that, instead of being something that actually needs a proof, it's just common sense and I had been doing it for years anyways (Basically Chain Rule inverted). I hate terrible Profs.

Then right after that, I sat in on my friends poetry class and it was so rad, it went by so fast and everything was so awesome and interesting and, even though I hadn't read the poem they were analysing, I was able to keep up.

So, yay for me, seems I found out two years too late that I prefer poetry to maths. Though, I'm not much a fan of essays... who knows? I'm in it deep now so I'm stuck with math but I'm always one to postulate.

Also: I think I have a webcomic now... cool? It'll be here once I actually get working on it (soon... probably today). I might also be writing the occasional article for the same site

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

This generations Rimbaud?

I certainly am not...

but that won't stop me from writing poems. First though, a story! A real life truthsome actually happened to me story!

I was sitting around at the airport waiting for my roomie to get in. His flight had been delayed by like six hours and it was late and night and the airport was basically deserted and I had a good hour to kill before he landed. So, I went wandering around and found this fanciful looking lounge type area upstairs where you can watch the planes land for. All the lights were out and I'm not actually sure if I was allowed there but no one tasered me, cut off my clothes and began probing my every orafice for some sort of doomsday device so I think it was okay.

Anyways, it was really quiet and peaceful and really relaxing so I thought about meditating but then I decided to write a poem. Only there was one fatal flaw to my plan, I had nothing to write on.

So I started writing on my arm as per natural and then decided that I was better than that and went off in search of paper-ish material. Then, using my ingenuity, charm, and boyish good looks I went into the bathroom and snagged a bunch of toilet paper and then wrote this poem on it

PS- I think that was the worst story I ever told... shuttup, that lounge was frickin' pretty and deserved mention somehow.

Catch a piece of air
Floating through her hair?
That scent of scent
A symphony
Possesses me

Study lines around excited eyes
With wild words floating past
Grabbed one
Liked it
Gone too fast

Roman thistles on her breath
Make shivers, pinpricks on my neck
Chills and thrills
to the bone

I wrote it about a girl that I happen to really fancy and maybe I will show it to her one day maybe?

D'ya think she'd like it?

I hope so

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Greetings Blog-o-Sphere

Two words in and I'm already ripping off xkcd, shan't happen again I promise. As is, it's 1:18 in the morning and I'm thinking about cutting my hair. Or perhaps a proper introduction is in place? Seems awfully late for meeting new people but alas, people come by so rarely I'd best not waste the chance.

Hello, m'name is Dylan and I'm very pleased to meet you. *shake hands*

Secret fact about me #1: I think I have something not quite insomnia. I don't have any trouble falling asleep, I don't have any trouble staying asleep,
I don't have nightmares, I usually sleep well. The problem is that I don't ever feel the need to sleep. Sure, I'm tired right now - could be unconscious in under five minutes but there's no actual desire to sleep and until I actually concentrate on falling asleep, it won't happen. It bothers me, probably isn't healthy but I've never been one to worry about my health. Still though... seems a bit odd. Why don't I want to sleep?

Anyways, the blag (frick!). Been pondering about this awhile, something to do late at night, a way to organize my thoughts haphazardly, a sneaky little hidey-hole where I can say anything I want about myself or anyone or anything. My blag, my rules, EAT IT WORLD!.

Apologies, I'm not usually that rude to a guest. Please, take off your shoes and hat, stay awhile, things might get interesting.

PS - I'm cutting my hair now... hopefully it doesn't suck?